New business room incubates students’ success
The Business Incubator room, a new space constructed over the summer alongside the new media center, has enhanced the learning experience for Conant business students with its innovative and office-like environment.
The room is used primarily by Conant’s Business Incubator course, which is taught by Anthony Miller. This class is available to sophomores through seniors who want to experience real business opportunities, learn about managing firms and make real money through their own start-ups. The room is designed specifically to fit the needs of the course and the business students who take it.
“The collaborative setup allows the teacher to differentiate instruction using flexible learning groups that meet the needs of students’ learning styles, ability level and interest,” said Miller. “The AirPlay monitors allow everyone in the room to focus and remain on task rather than hide behind their iPad screens.”
The Business Incubator room doesn’t function as a “drop-in” room, meaning an area where students can walk in and out whenever they choose. Rather, the room is reserved for the Business Incubator class, and other teachers can reserve it during periods the business class is not meeting.
Patti Ertl, head of the business department, explained that the course and accompanying room was a “big investment” and that she can “see this type of technology and approach to teaching used in other departments.”
In addition to giant TV screen, several monitors line the walls of the room, providing easy access to visual projections. Umi Kanao, a senior in the Incubator course, said that the room is different from other classrooms in that “the access to the laptops and monitors makes it feel more like an office environment.”
Similarly, other students appreciate the easy access to whiteboards. Senior Kevin Kovathana said that the “whiteboards help us visualize our plans, and the little screens [for Airplay] are very useful.”
“The room engages students in a way like no other,” sophomore Ronik Shah explained. “Putting us in a business environment made the class come to life, and my business knowledge has expanded to a new understanding.”
Miller said that the “comfort aspect” of the room–with its bright colors and soft, ergonomic seating–creates a comfortable learning environment that is important to student engagement. He also said that students have a more positive attitude because of the soft seating and the personal space with their team.
Click through the gallery above to take a peek at the new addition to the business department.